Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, a Passover Meal. The word Eucharist comes from a Greek word meaning “to give thanks”.   The Eucharist, sometimes called Holy Communion or The Lord’s Supper, is the heart of our Catholic faith. The Eucharist completes our initiation into the Church, and all that we do as the Body of Christ begins and ends with the memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection.  We believe in the true presence of our Lord in the Eucharist, and by partaking in this Holy Sacrament unite ourselves to Christ and give Him our Praise and Thanksgiving.

The policy of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is that children in the 2nd grade, about age 7, be prepared for and celebrate the sacrament of Penance before they are prepared for and receive First Holy Communion.  Therefore, children are prepared for and celebrate the two sacraments in the same year.  They are also to be prepared by their parish of membership.  Our Lady of the Valley  recognizes preparation through instruction at an Archdiocesan Catholic Elementary school or the Parish Religious Education program (PREP).

Adults who are already baptized (Catholic or in another Christian tradition) and who seek to receive the Eucharist for the first time will prepare in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) sessions.  Contact Beth Pettigrew, Pastoral Associate at or 554-1010 for questions about reception of First Holy Communion for children or adults.